Such as it is.
I used to have a life - things to do, places to go, people to go with, transport to get there. Now I’m stuck in a spare room with no hope of a real place, nowhere to go to because the buses don’t go there and the only people I can go with are few and far between.
How did it come to this, you may ask.
I moved home. I thought it was the best thing to do. I don’t regret leaving Hong Kong and I certainly will not be going back there. But I miss the life I had. I miss being independent and able to get to places, to do things.
I haven’t found an archery club in the nine months I’ve been back. The only good ones are out in Bumblefuck Boonieville, because that’s where the best land is. It’s also where the transport is not. Not a single bus. No train tracks. Mini buses do not exist. In fact, the only way to get there is by taxi. So here I am, looking at Nerys my compound bow, as she sits on top of someone else’s wardrobe in the room I rent, because taxis start at mortgaging your dominant hand in this country.
Pubs. I remember pubs. I remember restaurants. I remember meeting friends there every Friday night for our weekly catch-up and drinking session. I still drink on Friday nights - because I can’t go out and do those things any more.
I drink more.
I remember cinemas. Actual places where you can walk or take a bus to so you can watch a film. I still watch films, but on a 17 inch monitor. I remember John Carter being taller.
I remember having independence. I remember going anywhere I wanted and getting back when I wanted, when I could up and spend a few hours with a friend on the way home from work, or browse an Apple shop in the never-ending high street till 11pm, or stop and get cheap dinner at nearly midnight. Now I have to get the bus home because it’ll take over an hour, and all the shops shut an hour ago, and there’s nowhere open and no-one else around to go out with.
I remember being able to write. Now I dole out paint-by-numbers shit because everything is so dull and lifeless. The most fun I have these days is getting shit-faced at the weekend. Because everything is funny when you’re drunk.
But I’m moaning. I’m harping on about it all being soooo unfair, when I should be grateful for what I’ve got. I’ve got a bed and somewhere to put my bow, and I only have to take two buses to get to work in the morning. I have a job. I have friends. It’s not all as bad as it looks.
You know what? Fuck off. I’m tired of putting a brave face on it all and pretending I’m ok with keeping calm and carrying on. When is enough, enough? Where do you draw a line and say ‘this just isn’t working’? When you get home from work and you can’t even be arsed to get angry about it, that’s when.
Depression is really only anger without enthusiasm, after all.
I have dreams, you know. I’m still trying to get a book published and I’m still dreaming that next year I’ll magically have enough money to be able to move out, or even - GASP! - get a car. --One that runs!
And then I remember that every time it seems possible, something happens and I end up back at square one. No money to speak of, no life to speak of, just whatever I scribble down on virtual paper - the stuff I send to agents who don’t even finish reading it before politely declining my work.
Talked myself into a bad mood. Haven’t done that in a long time. Need to find something to take my mind off it, something to make it all go away for a little bit.
A mindless action movie, where lots of people die. Perfect. No wait - trying to watch it on a 17 inch monitor too far from your bed takes all the fun out of it.
A few hours pounding arrows into a target? Yes please. No wait - I have no club to go to, and I’m banned from using my bow in the back garden.
Write a few chapters, maybe. I’m still putting book eight together, and there’s that Doctor Who story I’ve been working on since… ooh, late last year. No wait - how do you write optimism and fun when you feel like all of that was choked out of you last week, and all you have left is the bitterness of seeing other people still produce it?
Play on my PS3 - Call of Duty: Ghosts, maybe, seeing as I’ve had it three weeks and barely got through the running-through-the-earthquake bit. No wait - it’s really hard when you’re not allowed the sound very high and you’re squinting at the 17 inch monitor across the room. And it doesn’t come closer - there’s no room for it, irony of ironies.
It’s time like these that I need Nine Inch Nails played really loudly. But I can’t do that - I get told you turn it down. I’m 37 years old, and I’m told to turn down my music because the other people in the house - who own the house - don’t want to be a party to it. You know the worst part? I can understand. If I owned the house, and someone started playing music I detested (Justin Bieber, for example), then I’ll bloody well tell them to turn it down too. It’s what you do when you own a house. But I wouldn’t know about that. What it boils down to is that I’m sitting on my bed listening to NiN through headphones to block out the world, and I feel like a petulant teenager.
Fuck it, then. I’ll have a drink. I’ll be a bear with a sore head tomorrow, but I don’t care. It’s the only out I’ve got.
No wait (and you knew this was coming) - I’ve got no vodka left and the shop shut half an hour ago. And, lest we forget, it’s kind of expensive in this country.
I’ll… just… do something else, then. If I could just think of something.